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Dashed line shows opal-filled fracture cutting across layered rocks on Mars.

Martian opals are a precious discovery

Gemstones could offer evidence of past life and be a water source for future Martians. Martian opals discovered in a lakebed traversed by NASA's Mars Curiosity rover may be much more precious than... — Updated 1/9/2023 Full story

Flat Martian landscape with dunes, small rocks, and Perseverance’s shadow.

First extraterrestrial rock sample cache

Perseverance is dropping off a batch of samples for Mars Sample Return robotic team to retrieve. While the impressive toolkit aboard the Perseverance rover provides earthbound scientists with a trove... — Updated 12/20/2022

 By A.J. Roan    Tech Bytes
Video intro to NASA's Break the Ice Lunar Challenge.

NASA's Break the Ice Challenge semi-finals

With 2022 coming to a close, NASA has announced the 15 teams moving forward to the semi-finals in the $3.5 million Break the Ice Lunar Challenge, an ongoing competition that puts research groups,... — Updated 12/20/2022

NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover selfie over a rock nicknamed Rochette.

Transforming Mars dirt into metallic iron

Food, water, breathable air, shelter, and clothing – these fundamental elements of human survival here on Earth will be even more critical for early Mars colonists. With delivery fees measured in... — Updated 8/23/2022 Full story

 By A.J. Roan    Tech Bytes
Rendering of an astronaut working at a futuristic forge on the Moon.

Latest NASA challenge tackles Moon forging

NASA's eighth annual Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-Changing (BIG) Idea Challenge invites university students to design a metal production pipeline – from extracting metal from minerals to... — Updated 8/16/2022

 By A.J. Roan    Tech Bytes
Astrobotic's Peregrine lunar lander in upcoming space missions.

Preparations for foothold in final frontier

Aiming to kick off the Artemis era later this year, NASA is preparing for the first launch of its Space Launch System (SLS) mega-rocket carrying the Orion spacecraft, which will fly without any crew... — Updated 7/12/2022

 By A.J. Roan    Tech Bytes
University Adelaide Exterres Laboratory space exploration simulation Australia

Australian university sets up space lab

The University of Adelaide has launched Exterres Laboratory, the first of its kind in Australia for an off-Earth surface testing environment for space technology such as rovers – which are destined... — Updated 7/12/2022

 By A.J. Roan    Tech Bytes
NASA Psyche asteroid National Aeronautics Space Administration solar array panel

Solar wings to fly to Psyche asteroid

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration March 7 reported the nearing launch of its 11-year Psyche project, with the assemblage of its massive solar panels that will power the spacecraft... — Updated 7/12/2022

Hayabusa 2 Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Ryugu asteroid type-C

Hayabusa 2 to drop asteroid samples soon

Are we there yet? With only about 1.4 million miles to go, the Hayabusa 2 spacecraft is about to finish its primary mission that has carried it over 3.25 billion miles so far! Even though it reached... — Updated 12/1/2020 Full story


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